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Online Video Game Addiction Example - ShadowBane

Updated on July 15, 2011

It wasn't always World of Warcraft!

While World of Warcraft (WoW) is the king of MMORPGs nowadays, it wasn't always like that. Before WoW came around, Shadowbane and Ultima Online held a lot of promise. 

My ShadowBane Video Game Addiction

RIP ShadowBane, the last true PVP game!
RIP ShadowBane, the last true PVP game!

MMORPG Addiction

I played ShadowBane after its release in 2003 and throughout the next 3 months. This was my first full 3D MMORPG and after my ultima online addiction the game looked spectacular!

Unlike modern MMORPGs, Shadowbane did not have or even pretend to have a story. After 20 levels you were on your own! No quests. Just grinding to near max level - 55-58 out of 60 (there was a soft level cap!)

To say that ShadowBane was brutal is an understatement. The game was in a perpetual state of civil war. PKs versus Anti PKs. Organized raids on towns, naked raids, "guildless" raids and ganking.

Lots and lots of ganking. Not the present World of Warcraft kind, mind you. The entire game of ShadowBane revolved around grinding and selling vendor trash. Upon death, a player's backpack could be looted of everything! The good thing is that a party of 6 would get 120% of experience after the game's release, this went down to 60-80% after a couple months. Modern MMORPGs split the experience evenly, so that would be 6 times as much grinding! There was no reason to solo in that game

Would you believe that the first time I saw a "soulbound" item in WoW, I thought that was actually a good thing?

Shadowbane was one of the most addictive video games I've ever played! The game died last year after 6 years.

Shadowbane set a bunch of good standards that World of Warcraft proceeded to stomp into the ground:

  • Carrying capacity was based on strength. Tanks could carry more loot
  • Specialization was key!
  • The game had open PVP system
  • There was a guild and nation system, resulting in huge battles over capitals. Yes, capitals could be and were burned to the ground!

I spent over 3 months playing that game hardcore - true video game addiction. In that time I leveled 4 characters to the soft cap and was in process of creating the 5th one when I felt I could no longer stand the grind.

Shadowbane siege

Shadowbane was all about player versus player.
Shadowbane was all about player versus player.

Shadowbane MMORPG Addiction lessons learned.

I spent over 3 months on that game and re-rolled 5 times! A simple game guide or even being aware of game related sites would've saved me a lot of time. A lot of new MMORPG players play whatever they feel like without doing enough research, resulting in a lot of rerolls!

People tend to pick the class they liked in the previous game. In some games paladins rule, in others they suck! Without doing research, you will find out that you are playing a gimped character!

Most games nowadays feature grinding. Buying MMORPG currency and items for real money would save you a lot of time. After a few years you would want to get the life you wasted on grinding back!

PVP requires specialization. I had to re-roll 5 times because I ended up creating a "generalist" build every time. This resulted in me being a shock troop and bashing castle walls for hours rather than PVPing at the battlements!

Quitting MMORPGs for the first time is hard!

MMORPG addiction pulls the player back into MMORPGs over and over again. It is very difficult to quit!

I was looking for Shadowbane experience in the 9 MMORPGs that followed, but none lived up to the standard that Shadowbane set!


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